New Transport ministers facing ‘key challenges’

THE Department for Transport ministerial team consists of mostly new faces after the New Year cabinet reshuffle, although rumours that transport secretary Chris Grayling was set to be moved by Theresa May turned out to be unfounded.

The new team will face a number of challenges, according to the Railway Industry Association.

Chief executive Darren Caplan said: “I would like to welcome Jo Johnson MP, the new rail minister, and Nusrat Ghani MP, the new Minister for HS2, on behalf of the Railway Industry Association and its members. This is an exciting time for both to be coming in to rail, with a record of rising passenger numbers and freight in the sector, a strong safety record amongst the highest in Europe, and with rail companies working hard to support economic growth across the UK and export world-class products and services overseas.

“From our perspective, the key challenges now facing the new Ministerial team are ensuring greater consistency in rail funding to avoid boom and bust in network investment, continuing support for major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Crossrail 2 and East-West Rail, addressing the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, and helping rail secure a sector deal as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

“I would also like to warmly thank former rail minister Paul Maynard for his invaluable work with our sector. He has been a great champion of the rail supply sector, backing its growth both in the UK and on trade missions overseas to support our sector’s exports drive. We will miss his commitment, enthusiasm, and personable character!. And we wish him the best of luck in his new role as a Government Whip.”

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